SEO for Civil Attorneys
SEO for Civil Lawyers and Attorneys
Civil Law consists of legal disputes, damages claims and complaints, or demands for compensation. The form of compensation is generally quantifiable in monetary sums and awarded as compensatory damages, and when warranted punitive or treble damages. The civil lawsuit process is often referred to as litigation, and the parties are called litigants. A civil lawsuit involves a plaintiff(s) bringing a cause of action or claim(s) for damages against a defendant(s). Either side can be one or more individuals or a business entity – a multi-national corporation can sue an individual and vice versa.
Civil cases are often settled outside the courtroom in formal settlements, mediation, or arbitration proceedings. Civil litigation case settlements have been rising over recent years as corporate defendants push to minimize legal costs. The litigation revenue streams used to be more abundant with longer timelines. Now law firms are urged to pursue more clients through an evermore complicated landscape of “social media”.
Civil Law Firms: Plaintiff and Defense
Civil law has more fragmentation and private lawyers and law firms can represent either the plaintiff or the defense side of lawsuits. Many lawyers are carving-out niche markets to specialize. The array of legal practice areas and specialties in civil law necessitate a certain degree of specialization – SEO and the internet allow you to better focus your desired legal practice area and promotion yourself with more precise market targeting and reputation management.
Target Population: Fragmented
According to the American Bar Association’s 2009 Legal Technology Survey, over 95% of legal revenue for law firms with 10 attorneys or more is generated from law practice areas outside of criminal law. Despite the imbalance of criminal law matters broadcast on network television, the ABA presents 32 other legal practice categories with 21 of the categories contributing higher total revenues to the bottom line of most law firms than criminal law. The leaders in the legal industry are urging lawyers to focus their law practices on defined niches. Search Engine Optimization provides the ideal means for attorneys to further specialize, promote, and generate leads within desired target markets.
Keywords Enable Better Market Segment Targeting
This is because search engine marketing begins and ends with keywords. The keywords you target for search engine optimization can be used to both promote and better define and manage your reputation. Sponsored ads or pay-per-click (PPC) listings have no enduring effect on your ranking beyond the last click you paid for. Whereas, SEO is geared toward organic rankings have long-term benefits to both your reputation within a legal specialty or geographic area, and the ongoing ranking, clicks and the revenue that naturally streams from top organic rankings.
Organic Ranking Provides Perceptions of Higher Reputation (and free clicks)
Moreover, organic rankings attract 4-times as many clicks as the sponsored ads box (PPC) that appears above them (all at no cost per-click). Notwithstanding the prevalent perception of consumers of non-tangible services: that sponsored ads are dominated by spammers and SEO organic rankings signify authentic reputation or professional standing.
Plaintiff Attorneys Have Been the 1st to Tap the Value of SEO
Plaintiff lawyers have never been shy about advertising; whether it is cheap production televisions commercials, phonebook refrigerator magnets, bus benches, or unmemorable 800 numbers. Accordingly, plaintiff law firms have been the first to embrace SEO and benefit immensely from it.
Similar to criminal attorneys, many plaintiff attorneys target a diffuse target market. Therefore, plaintiff attorneys often utilize a broader range of keywords that they optimize for. However, the monetary payoff for plaintiff lawyers from civil cases makes up for greater marketing expenditures. Consequently, plaintiff attorneys have embraced SEO quicker for great benefit than defense attorneys in civil law.
Internet and Social Media Reputation Management
Civil law plaintiff lawyers are among the most aggressive internet advertisers; however, many plaintiff attorneys engage in internet marketing practices that are detrimental to their internet reputations. Impure domain names riddled with hyphens, sales-y terms, or out-of-sequence keywords look like “infomercial spam” and do not instill confidence. Combine a cheesy domain name with a sponsored PPC ad and you present the image of an “ambulance chaser”. Conversely, pure and descriptive website domain addresses showcase that the law firm is astute, ‘ahead of the curve’ and technologically savvy.
Competition Indicators: Search Frequencies, PPC costs, Diverse Keyword Variations
First Fold SEO optimizes websites for all areas of civil law. The plaintiff civil litigation attorneys have been the first to capitalize on internet marketing and the high competition for keywords in this area stands as evidence. Vehicular accident and personal injury claims are some of the most competitive keywords to achieve respectable rankings (for most any given geographic region). There are multiple forms of injury and degrees of injury severity. Therefore, there are a wider variety of keywords and variations available to plaintiff lawyers in these areas to dominate niche markets on these high-dollar, contingency fee cases.
The following table provides reference points for the accelerating costs of PPC advertising. It should be emphasized that competition will inflate these current rates aggressively as law firms direct more marketing budget to internet advertising. The following table includes the most recently updated monthly search frequencies, pay-per-click (PPC) costs for the respective keywords (as reported on April 9, 2011). By the time this is posted, the rates you find are likely to be higher due to the market pace.
Keywords US Law Firms Monthly (CPC)
______________________________(Competition) Searches Cost-Per-Click
Criminal Defense Attorneys 25184 14800 $26.76
Criminal Lawyer 25184 90500 $19.46
Defense Attorney 72892 90500 $19.15
Auto Accident Lawyers 20548 9900 $27.94
Car Accident Attorneys 20548 9900 $26.41
Truck Accident Attorney 11435 12100 $26.11
Motorcycle Accident Attorney 11120 9900 $22.85
DUI Attorneys 12988 22200 $33.34
DUI Defense Attorney 12988 2900 $28.31
DWI Attorney 12988 14800 $28.81
Injury Lawyers 40142 110000 $25.94
Personal Injury Attorney 40142 110000 $24.36
 As listed in Lawyers.com
 As reported by Google
 As reported by Google
First Fold SEO, is a search engine optimization firm that specializes in SEO for attorneysusing their own, proprietary and trademarked SEO methodology called “Cognitive Semantic Structuring™“.
Call Dr. James Wright, Head of Legal Industry Marketing for
First Fold SEO at 786-309-8SEO (736) to discuss how he can help you with the SEO for your law firm’s website.
Alternatively, you may also submit an inquiry online: Contact First Fold SEO
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